Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows Blu-ray Review
When director Guy Ritchie’s SHERLOCK HOLMES came onto the scene a couple of years ago, it revamped the story and character in a new exciting way that had audiences yearning for more. Of course much of that can be attributed to casting Robert Downey Jr. as the eccentric, fast-talking, genius Mr. Holmes. But everywhere SHERLOCK HOLMES succeeded, SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS fails by lessening the intelligence and blowing up the action.
Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) is behind massive terrorist attacks by bombing buildings, assassinating world leaders and stealing loved one’s as collateral to enlist men to do his dirty work. Considering Sherlock Holmes a worthy adversary, Moriarty plans to kill Holmes’ friend and partner Dr. Watson (Jude Law) and his recent bride. Holmes must rescue the newlyweds and beg Watson to partake in one last mission that involves teaming with a gypsy woman (Noomi Rapace from this summer’s PROMETHEUS) to stop the evil Professor from his disastrous plans.
Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. once again make a great team with oodles of charisma and humor playing off one another. Sherlock in several silly disguises including his modern camouflage and Watson pulling on the reigns of his codependent pal. The other characters are underutilized and poorly constructed including Rapace’s gypsy Madam Simza, Sherlock’s odd brother (Stephen Fry) and a short return of Rachel McAdams‘ Irene Adler from the first film. But for the most part that matters little, with the heart of the film relying on the partnership of our leads. Accompanied by an excellent score from Hans Zimmer, Guy Ritchie once again sets the stage beautifully in 1891 London and enlists his slow-down speed-up filming technique.
What’s so unfortunate about SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS is that Sherlock has definitely met a brilliant match in his arch nemesis, but he’s never fully utilized. Instead much of the battle is done physically against Moriarty’s sharp shooting henchman. And Instead of using logic and reason to deduce problems, the film opts for using Holmes ability to see every angle for rough housing and action sequences. Don’t get me wrong, that is one of my favorite aspects of the original and I get a kick out of it every time that gimmick is used in the sequel. But this time we never get to see the clever problem solving CSI style that they did so well before.
I love the partnership of Downey Jr., and Law through Holmes and Watson but that alone can’t carry the film. With a story that bores and the originality factor wearing thin, SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS is never very engaging and overwrought with action that is unmemorable.
Video: (1080p 2.39:1) SHERLOCK HOLMES: GAME OF SHADOWS is another good looking picture for the Warner Bros. resume.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The score and sound mixing through all the action is absolutely exquisite, however the vocals during the dialogue are sometime drowned out and hard to hear.
Maximum Movie Mode: Robert Downey Jr. does a sort of picture-in-picture commentary track that reveals the whole production of SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS while watching the film. As usual, he’s one of the most entertaining personalities to listen to.
A Game of Shadows Movie App: Exclusive footage strictly for when downloading the film that’s full of extra behind-the-scenes video, script-to-screen comparison, maps and character bios.
Focus Points (34:57): These are seven short featurette segments pull from the Maximum Movie Mode feature. Including: Holmesavision on Steroids, Moriarty’s Master Plan Unleashed, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: A Perfect Chemistry, Meet Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: Under the Gypsy Spell, Guy Ritchie’s Well-Oiled Machine and Holmes Without Borders.